Unity – The Art of Surrendering
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
In the midst of a serious health concern, a stressed marriage, and a cloudy outlook, life was indeed overwhelming. Stomping my foot hard and drawing a firm line in the sands of frustration was all I could do. Or was it?
Close to 20 years ago, an excruciating headache set in for my husband, Mike. They were nothing new to him. In our four years of marriage, he suffered from one at least once a month. These weren’t migraines, yet they were debilitating.
The pain was so bad he refused to drink. Because, that would then require him to eventually stand and walk to the bathroom. At one point, Mike crawled down the hallway towards the bathroom on his hands and knees, insisting nothing were wrong. Denial!
At our first ER visit, they said he was dealing with an ear infection. Three days later I was calling 911, and they took him by ambulance for stroke symptoms. After three days in the hospital with no answers as to what we were dealing with, I will never forget walking the hallways praying.
I remember telling God, “You certainly have my attention.” This was my first moment of convergence in my faith. I chose to focus on and look only to Him. It was more than a prayer, but an openness to receive a reply or guidance from God.
The act of converging is to move towards a union. When we pray and accept Christ into our lives, we’re made new in Him, becoming infants in our faith. Loving Christ is an intimate, lifelong eternal relationship. As with any relationship, there is always room for growth and understanding. Our Savior wants nothing more than to love us; we simply need to let Him.
Have you ever read the poem Footprints In the Sand? It is one of my all time favorites.
Footprints in the Sand
One night I had a dream…
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord,
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand;
One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before us,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
There was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me,
and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I needed
you the most, you should leave me.
The Lord replied, “My precious, precious child.
I love you, and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
Even as Christians seeking God, we need to recognize that our subconscious will create a hypothetical line in the sand, a wall so-to-speak. In faith, we must cross this line of our desires versus His, in every situation. Our natural sin will always set us on a path of pride, creating our own set of footprints. Yet, Jesus really does want to walk along side of us, wiping that line away, carrying us when needed. When we continually surrender our cares, grace erases the barriers. We are then free to join Him in faith; which in turn opens our hearts to the Prince of Peace.
In the beginning, we may choose every possible option before looking to the Lord for specific guidance. Remembering to read our Bible, pray, and trust Him, is indeed our constant point of convergence.
That afternoon in the hospital I simply chose to focus on God in the immediate situation. Instead of the unknowns consuming me, Jesus was my focus, my strength. I surrendered to His love, trusting in Him. I took the hand that I’m sure had been waiting for me the three previous days. This concept was all very new to me. However, after reading my very first Bible for close to a year (The Mom’s Bible), I wondered if this intimacy, this relationship with the Jesus could be true for me as well.
Within a few minutes of that conversation and prayer with the Lord, a janitor in the break room, who had seen my hallway pacing, spoke truth. This perfect stranger told me to “Turn it all over to God; He will help you.” Can you imagine the awe in my heart at that moment? In the time it took me to heat up a cup of tea, the Lord was showing me He was there; the situation was in His hands.
Mike endured four days in the hospital with no answers, and they were sending him home. After insisting on a second opinion, we discovered his brain was riddled with blood clots. Blood was getting in, but not getting out.
The doctors had a few educated theories as to what caused the blood clots, but nothing for certain. When he ended up back in the hospital within a month for another clot in his leg, we still had no answers. A year later, his doctor called and said: “There is this new blood test to determine if you have a genetic blood clotting disorder.” He does.
Two things greatly changed after this diagnosis. The first, with Mike on blood thinning medication, he began to get better and became the man I fell in love with once again. I also worked on letting go and letting God. It’s amazing how surrendering to Christ and trusting in His truths, transforms overwhelming circumstances into hope.
”Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[a] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
“If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you. Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear.” Job 11:13-15
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We are having an Online Retreat on Unity ~ The Art of Surrendering.
It’s almost ready!! Yay!!!